Severna Park prevails, 3-2, in 8th against Chesapeake

Pollock's 3rd RBI wins it

Donaldson pitches well

Class 4A softball

May 20, 1999|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Before his team's Class 4A East region semifinal against Chesapeake yesterday, Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd confessed to a case of nerves.

Unlike the No. 2-ranked Arundel team the Falcons defeated on Monday, the No. 5 Cougars were a team against whom Shepherd's team was expected to deliver victory.

And Severna Park won, 3-2, in eight innings on Lauren Pollock's game-winning RBI. Shepherd's jitters were quieted as Megan Freienmuth crossed home plate to end the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Before putting Chesapeake (15-5) away, the Falcons (19-4) needed three RBIs from Pollock to overcome the jolt of an early deficit that resulted from scraped-out runs and junior Erin Taylor's sharp pitching.

"These are the type of games that you're nervous about, because we're ranked higher than them," said Shepherd, a coach leading his team into Friday's finals seven weeks after taking over when Duane McAlister resigned at the end of March. "But Chesapeake is ranked No. 5, and they've only lost four games. A lot of teams overlooked them, and we did not."

After a first inning in which two of her walks led to two Chesapeake runs, Severna Park ace Amanda Donaldson held the Cougars scoreless the rest of the way, giving up only four hits for the game.

Severna Park, unable to muster anything more substantial than a bloop single off of Taylor, trailed 2-0 when coming to bat in the bottom of the third. Sufficiently challenged, the Falcons turned hits from Donaldson and Becky Strohmer (replaced by Heather Bailey as a runner) into a pair of runs on a hit from Pollock, who went 3-for-4.

Pollock was one of the few Falcons to enjoy consistent success against Taylor, who struck out six and gave up six hits in eight innings.

"I just got up in the box and relaxed," Pollock said, "and when I got my pitch, I hit it."

The Cougars, playing in retiring coach Dennis Thiele's final game, vowed to manufacture runs after 5-1 defeat early in the season against Severna Park.

Determined not to suffer a similar fate, Chesapeake had Michelle Cappa steal two bases after walking, scoring on a bunt single by Kristen Bishoff. Later, Lauren Gontkof's bunt single allowed Kristen Wheeler to score and give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.

Class 3A East

No. 1 Northeast 5, Wilde Lake 0: Top-ranked Northeast scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and senior pitcher Stacy Smith allowed two hits in a 5-0 shutout win against unranked Wilde Lake in a Class 3A East semifinal yesterday in Pasadena.

Class 4A East

No. 8 North County 3, Old Mill 0: Right-hander Kellie Evans (8-3) pitched a complete game, gave up three hits, two walks and struck out seven as the Knights (17-6) blanked the Patriots (6-16) in Class 4A East action.

North County faces Severna Park tomorrow night in the region finals at 7 p.m.

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